[avatar name="baron"]Michael Baron: It seems as though in one way or another, Jackson's name comes up every winter, and the Mets never seem to sign or trade for him in the end. Jackson has proven to be a steady and reasonably consistent starting pitcher over the last few seasons and someone who could definitely provide quality depth in the rotation.
There are a few concerns I have with Jackson. First off, he is a two-pitch pitcher (hard fastball and slider) and while he has shown to have command of those pitches, I worry he will eventually need to develop a third (and potentially fourth) pitch to keep the opposition from adjusting to his stuff as it diminishes with age. Second, why has Jackson been traded five times since 2006? That makes me wonder if he comes with personal issues which teams are choosing to eventually not deal with.
As far as a potential contract is concerned, I don't see Sandy Alderson committing beyond two years for any free agent starting pitcher, at least right now. Mark Buehrle's contract for four years, $58 million with the Marlins might have set a higher bar for Jackson, which is something few teams seem to be flirting with at the moment.
Jackson, 28, just completed a two-year, $13.35 million contract he signed with the Diamondbacks in February, 2010. He went a combined 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA in 199 2/3 innings with the Diamondbacks and Cardinals in 2011, and went 1-1 with a 5.61 ERA in three postseason starts for St. Louis this past October. He is 60-60 with a 4.46 ERA in 203 appearances and 173 starts in nine big league seasons with the Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, and Cardinals.
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